December 24: Superpower Israel

Regarding “Congressional Democrats up in arms over hints of reduced aid for Israel," a reduction might well be a move in the right direction.

Superpower Israel
Sir, Regarding “Congressional Democrats up in arms over hints of reduced aid for Israel” (December 22), a reduction might well be a move in the right direction. This country has for too long been overlydependent on America and should by now be standing well and truly on its own feet, therefore being the master of its own destiny.
The c long ago abrogated the right to call itself a superpower. If any country has the right to use that title, why not Israel, with its abundant achievements and high moral compass?
Zion Busing controversy
Sir, – Regarding “‘Israeli war crimes’ ads on Seattle’s buses” (December 22), these ads state: “Your tax dollars at work: Israeli war crimes.” Next to the text is a photo of Palestinian children staring at a bombedout house.
I’d like to start a fund to display a couple of ads of my own: 1. Text: “Your tax dollars at work – Jewish Blood.”
Photo: Terrorist bomb site with Israelis collecting body parts.
2. Text: “Palestinian Employment Ad – Wanted: Jew Killer; Hours: Very Brief; Compensation: 70 virgins.”
Photo: A smiling Palestinian terrorist holding open a robe to display dynamite strapped to his chest.
It would be interesting to hear Seattle Metro officials justifying why these ads should not be displayed.
A last charitable act
Sir, – I feel I must take up the cudgel and refute absolutely the remarks of Hudis Rabinowitz, who asserted that bodies from which organs have been removed for donation cannot be ritually buried (“Sad, but wrong,” Letters, December 22).
While ritual washing cannot be performed because blood has been spilled, there is otherwise no problem.
Some of the greatest rabbis have sanctioned organ donations. The only stipulation is that the body must be treated with the utmost respect and sewn up for burial.
Of course, there is a restriction on donating a body for medical research.
I am sure that among some of our more tunnelvisioned brethren the idea of organ donations is anathema. However, this is a minor view, and many thousands of people praise the new life they have been given thanks to a final gift from someone who has died.
Sir, – After reading the correspondence “Sad, but wrong,” I was very surprised that you allowed such an offensive letter to appear.
The writer says that “according to rabbinic law, a body that has had its organs taken out cannot be buried properly since it is not a complete body,” a statement that is not true.
There is no such rabbinic law. Imagine what reading this statement does to the relatives of victims of terror, accidents or the Shoah, who couldn’t bury their loved ones at all or were able to, but with body parts missing.
In Israel today, recognized rabbinic authorities are very much in favor of organ transplants from non-living donors to save lives. This is the truth of the matter.
To malign a family that saved lives by unselfishly donating a son’s organs is very sad, as doing so is is a joyful act of charity and should be praised.
Beit Shemesh
Sir, – Yossi Sherman did the greatest mitzva in the world: saving people’s lives.
I can attest that hundreds of Orthodox rabbis have organ donor cards and support organ donation after death. In fact, our website has a video of the director of the Jerusalem burial society stating unequivocally that his organization supports organ donation and buries organ donors.
To suggest otherwise is simply not true.
New York
The writer is founder and director of the Halachic Organ Donor Society